Though the human body has an uncanny ability to heal, sometimes it needs a little help. The field of bioengineering-where biology intersects with engineering-is producing potential regenerative solutions that can promote health and healing for multitudes of patients with periodontal diseases. Tissue bioengineering, in particular, is being used to advance the reconstruction of periodontal-supporting structures and their function. Biologics, cell therapy, and, most recently, inventive scaffold designs are some of the key components in contemporary oral/periodontal regenerative medicine.
Our first continuing education (CE) article discusses this timely subject, describing how periodontal tissue bioengineering holds considerable promise for clinical practice. With periodontitis so prevalent among the US adult population, efforts in the realm of science have focused on periodontal regeneration. This article reviews recent advances in stem cell and gene therapies, 3D printing, and the creation of attachment scaffolds, all aimed at the restoration of osseous and soft-tissue defects.
While periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that can wreak havoc in the oral cavity, it is not the only chronic malady impacting the mouth. Dental caries is another persistent problem that afflicts people of all ages. Our second CE focuses on the concept of caries management by risk assessment (CAMBRA), which offers clinicians scientific, evidence-based solutions for the prevention and treatment of this assiduous disease. Though CAMBRA is not yet widely embraced in private practice, prevention leads to fewer restorative treatments and better maintenance of oral health, function, and esthetics-all traits that appeal to patients. In reviewing implementation of CAMBRA into a contemporary dental practice, this article discusses the caries balance concept, the different levels of caries risk, as well as CAMBRA validation studies.
This issue also contains several interesting case reports, including treatment of a gingival injury from a laser burn; a long-term successful outcome following an initial treatment complication; and oral mucosal lesion therapy in a patient with psychodermatologic disorders. In addition, our roundtable offers an instructive discussion on proper reprocessing of orthodontic instruments.
Science continues to open doors to new solutions in dentistry. As it does, Compendium (compendiumlive.com) will be here to assist clinicians in translating that science into practice.
Louis F. Rose, DDS, MD